How Does a Chassid Look at Summer Vacation? How Do We Reconcile Chassidus’ Emphasis on Non-Indulgence in Material Delights with the Lavish Dinners Thrown by Chassidic Institutions? Is Marijuana Different Than Other Recreational Stress Relievers? Are We Halachically Obligated to Protect the Environment?
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 167, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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As we enter the summer vacation season, how does a Chassid uniquely look at this period? What advice does the Rebbe offer for making the most of summer break?
Did the Rebbe ever discuss the use of marijuana? Among frum Jews there appears to be no clear understanding whether recreational marijuana is considered a Torah transgression. Most agree that there are definitely issues with it, but don’t think it’s a serious transgression. Is there a Torah consensus about the usage of marijuana? How is it different than other more acceptable practices like smoking cigarettes or having a beer to wind down?
Traditional Judaism resonates with the core of my being and my experiences. Yet, I am wondering whether I can incorporate aspects of other spiritual paths to enhance my Judaism. Can I blend different religions and spiritual practices while maintaining traditional Judaism as my primary path?
We usually emphasize the Rebbe’s gentle and compassionate way of speaking to children in particular. But it appears that in some sichos delivered to children, the Rebbe’s tone sounds harsh. What can we learn from the Rebbe when it comes to talking to children?
What is the Torah’s approach to global warming? Are we held accountable for harming our environment? Is one halachically obligated to take active measures to protect the environment? After all, it is G-d’s world- shouldn’t we be doing what we can to preserve its health?
How do we reconcile the emphasis Chassidus places on not indulging in material delights with the extravagant gala dinners done by Torah based and Chassidic organizations indulging people with fine food and wine? There are even events that take place in bars, with DJ's and partying, especially when targeting younger crowds. Is this not a blatant contradiction to the discretion and simplicity demanded by Torah, and especially Chassidus.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the 2017 MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Chassidus: Not Just a Problem Solver” by Moshe Kaltmann; “From Hardship to Happiness” by Chanie Volovick; and “Building Competent Responsible Children as a Teacher” by Dov Halperin. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: In Likutei Torah, we learn that the reason why wine has the power to reveal the inner dimension of the soul is because the wine was hidden in its grapes. Why is this not the case when it comes to other juices which are extracted from the fruit? Also, all alcoholic beverages have a similar effect of loosening inhibition and allowing the inner person to express itself, so why is wine singled out?
This hour-long dose of insights is meant to inform, inspire and empower us by applying the teachings of Chassidus to help us face practical and emotional challenges and difficulties in our personal lives and relationships. To have your question addressed, please submit it at meaningfullife.com/mylife.
The topics in this Sunday's hour-long broadcast will include:
· Chassidus Applied to Korach and Rosh Chodesh Taamuz
· How do we apply Chassidus to vacation?
· Can I use other spiritual paths to enhance my Judaism?
· How do we reconcile the Chassidic standard of non-indulgence in the material with the lavish dinners thrown by Torah and Chassidic institutions?
· What can we learn from the Rebbe’s tone when speaking to children?
· Are we halachically obligated to protect the environment?
· What does Torah say about marijuana usage?
· Chassidus Question: Why does wine specifically help one express his neshama? How is it different to other juices?
· MyLife Essays: Chassidus: Not Just a Problem Solver; From Hardship to Happiness; Building Competent Responsible Children as a Teacher
In what has now become a staple in so many people’s lives, MyLife: Chassidus Applied addresses questions that many people are afraid to ask and others are afraid to answer. When asked about the sensitive topics he has been addressing, Rabbi Simon Jacobson commented, “I understand that the stakes are high and great care has to be taken when speaking openly, but the silence and lack of clarity on matters plaguing the community can no longer go unaddressed. The stakes of not providing answers are even higher.”
The on-going series has provoked a significant reaction from the community, with thousands of people viewing each live broadcast and hundreds of questions pouring in week after week. At the root of every question and personal challenge tackled by the series is the overarching question: Does Judaism have the answers to my personal dilemmas?
In inimitable “Jacobson-fashion”, the broadcast answers people’s questions in simple, clear language while being heavily sourced. Each episode is jam-packed with eye-opening advice from the Rebbeim, gleaned from uncovering surprising gems in their letters, sichos and maamorim that address our personal issues with disarming relevance. Simultaneously, Rabbi Jacobson is able to crystallize a concept quickly, succinctly, and poignantly for any level of listener.
All episodes are immediately available for viewing in the MLC's archive and can be downloaded as MP3s for listening on the go.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife